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Hulu to Launch Two-Week Guide for Live TV


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Hulu will soon look a bit more familiar to former cable TV subscribers: The streaming video service is looking to roll out a new live TV guide in the coming months that will allow consumers to browse up to two weeks of programming.

The upcoming live TV guide can be seen as a concession to existing lean-back viewing habits, and is a bit of a departure from the way Hulu originally treated live programming. When the video service launched its live TV tier in beta in May of 2017, the company didn't include a traditional guide at all. Instead, it presented all live TV alongside on-demand and recorded content, with an emphasis on personalization to surface relevant live programming.

The company did add a simplified guide last year, which shows currently playing titles as well as whatever is up next for each and every channel of the live TV service. Now, it is developing an extended version that looks and feels a lot like a more traditional programming guide, complete with the ability to browse ahead and explore up to 2 weeks of upcoming programming per channel.

Hulu's embrace of this more traditional interface isn't just indicative of the company's efforts to establish itself as an alternative to traditional cable TV. It also makes sense from a product leadership perspective, given that the company recently hired former TiVo executive Jim Denney as its new vice president of product.

However, the addition of a full-fledged guide doesn't mean that Hulu is giving up integrating live and on-demand within the same interface. In fact, the company is currently testing tweaks to its home screen section that will allow users to browse more titles at the same time.

Hulu also plans to introduce tweaks to its episode detail page that are supposed to make it easier to discover related content, or quickly take actions on an episode. These tweaks are scheduled to launch in spring, with the live TV guide following soon after.

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